View Full Version : Help! Can anyone upload a Collada file?

05-14-2009, 08:06 AM
Hi guys,

I'm trying to come up with a free, easy way to bring models from SolidWorks to Lightwave while keeping the model geometry and texture info. So far I have been able to use AccuTrans 3D to import .wrl files and re-export them as .lwo, but that doesn't keep the material information.

It looks like I can use Collada Export to export files from SolidWorks, and then use a plugin in LW9.6 to import the Collada model. The problem is, I'm not the one with SolidWorks - my client has the original models and software. Before I request they do all this work exporting, though, I need to test this with a model. Can anyone upload any Collada exported file that I can use to test LW importer on? A simple box is fine, with different color materials on each side so I can test the material conversion. If anyone can do this for me you'll have my undying love and appreciation!!


05-14-2009, 09:00 AM
9.6 has a collada export function does it not? You could try exporting and re-importing and seeing if there is any geometry/surface structure change.

Best scenerio is to have a solidworks user export collada data (which i think your asking) However-i would test on a sizeable chunk of data. Small ones wont give you a good representation of how clean the geometry should be. Also, i tend to work with a file limit of say 80meg because my machine just falls over otherwise whilst trying to convert it.

I import from cad data on a daily basis and ive a workflow that works for me using polytrans (cost some $ though). I dont think its unreasonable to ask your client for a couple of files to test the water...shows your pretty thorough!

Edit: Ooo I dont know if solidworks supports this but-is fbx an option. Ive had some success using this from maya to lightwave.

Good luck Anyways

05-14-2009, 09:04 AM
You're right that what I want to achieve is a test from a SolidWorks model, but for now here's what I'm trying.

I exported a really large model I had as an lwo. I imported that into AccuTrans and converted it to a dae. Now, when I try and open the dae in Lightwave (modeler or layout) the program crashes. Am I missing a step or does a dae out of AccuTrans just not really work right with the default settings?

05-14-2009, 09:25 PM
If you want help with the wrl file from SolidWorks being imported into AccuTrans email the wrl file to micromouse at accesscomm.ca


05-14-2009, 09:30 PM
Matt just posted on this exact subject and has also included a video tutorial.


05-15-2009, 10:45 AM
For DAE test files go to http://www.collada.org/owl/

Click the "Click here for anonymous access" link.

On the next page, click the "Public Section" link.

Different test DAE files can be downloaded from here.


05-18-2009, 06:08 AM
Thanks guys for the responses!

Wayne, that Collada Test Model downloads page is exactly what I was looking for! Also, Hopper, thanks for the link to the tutorial - that is sure to come in handy since I have quite a few models from the client that I need to convert, and I can even send it to them to show them how they should be exporting.

05-18-2009, 06:32 AM
and I can even send it to them to show them how they should be exporting.

Feel free, but I could do a video on exporting from SolidWorks to STL / IGES.

05-18-2009, 06:40 AM
The simpler the better! I doubt I'm going to be able to convince them to convert from SW > MOI > LW (is MOI freeware? If not, then its really unlikely) , but the SolidWorks > STL method seems like my best bet! It seems pretty straightforward, but does it retain the model's material and texture data or no?

05-18-2009, 01:03 PM
STL files do not contain any material properties.

Also if your final object will consist of 6 distinct parts than 6 STL files will have to be exported from SolidWorks.


05-18-2009, 01:28 PM
Thanks Wayne!

Speaking to the modeler who created the original 3d models in SolidWorks, it looks like he had nothing to do with the final renders I saw, so has no textures or materials on his models anyway. We're basically trying to keep the client's budget low by re-using as many original resources we can from their previous project, but its kind of a nightmare since it seems like a few different artists touched it along the way, and it doesn't appear to be clear to the client just who created the final versions of the animation. So it looks like to get textures for these models, we'll either have to do it ourselves (no problem for us, but this guy has a 50 hour budget and there's a lot of other modeling/animation/rendering to do...) or find the animator who originally textured the models.

Thanks a ton for the responses though everyone - I'm definitely glad to say I won't have any problem going from SW to LW again in the future!

05-18-2009, 05:38 PM
I don't have SolidWorks and from what I knew there should have been no textures in the VRML file.

3D solid modeling programs have to create a polygon mesh skin that fits around the outside of a solid. This routine usually creates more than one mesh for each solid. A simple solid like a 'bolt' could be turned into 3 or 4 meshes and each mesh gets saved as a distinct object in the VRML file so AccuTrans creates a layer for each one. An assembly of some object exported from a 3D modeling program could end up as thousands of layers in AccuTrans. You can not stop SolidWorks from producing all those meshes but there is a work-around for this.

Let's assume you are making an object in SolidWorks which consists of 3 parts which are 2 gears mounted on a shaft. Assign a different color to the two gears and the shaft and it doesn't matter what colors you choose.

Export to the VRML file and import into AccuTrans. You will have lots of layers and the view window will show the object in three colors.

Select the "Tools -> Merge Layers With Same Materials" menu command. Answer "yes" to the question and the layers will be combined according to the colors assigned in SolidWorks. For our example, after the merge step there will be 3 layers representing the 2 gears and the shaft.

Save to a LWO file.

If SolidWorks user saves to a collection of STL files, use the "File -> Multi Open" menu command in AccuTrans. All the STL files will load at once and each will go onto its own layer. Save to a LWO file.